HYDE PARK — University of Chicago Police Department officer Nicolas Twardak, who shot a man in Hyde Park Tuesday, also shot a university student in April 2018, university officials announced Thursday.
Twardak was named as the officer who shot 28-year-old Rhysheen Wilson Tuesday. Officials allege Twardak and Wilson engaged in a shootout near 53rd Street and Woodlawn Avenue after the officer stopped to investigate reports of a person walking with a handgun.
Wilson was charged Wednesday with attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated discharge of a firearm to a person and aggravated unauthorized use of a weapon, according to university police.
Twardak was identified in the university’s Thursday announcement as the officer who shot student Charles Soji Thomas in 2018, after Thomas reportedly smashed windows and refused to drop a tent stake during a mental health episode.
“The Chicago Police Department and the University reviewed the incident, and both reviews found that the officer’s actions were consistent with applicable law,” spokesperson Gerald McSwiggan said in a statement.
Students have criticized the frequency at which Black people are stopped by UChicago’s private police force, as well as the department’s extensive patrol area, which goes far beyond the university’s central campus.
Twardak has worked for the university’s police department since 2016. The officer has been placed on administrative leave as the Chicago Police Department and the university investigate Tuesday’s shooting.
UChicago’s private police force has about 100 officers, according to a university website.
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